Besides taking a hit on our ability to spend time outside, have you ever wondered if the weather might affect your mood? And can bad weather have a real impact on our health and well-being?
With visits from Storm Barney and Storm Abigail hitting Bristol last week, it is fair to say I am looking a bit wind-blown. Ah well, such is life as a window cleaner.
Going about my rounds over the last couple of weeks I started to notice a lot more of my customers were at home compared with over the summer months – huddling up inside to avoid the terrible weather no doubt.
So I started it ponder, how do these sudden changes in weather as the winter months draw nearer affect our moods? Did I feel ‘lower’ going about my work in these miserable conditions than in the summer months?
Besides taking a hit on our ability to spend time outside, might the weather affect our mood? And can bad weather have a real impact on our health and well-being?
As I looked into this theory it became apparent that research from top universities suggests that it can.
Also, the effect may become heightened in years to come – as it is clear global warming and climate change is underway this will only contribute to a higher risk of extreme weather events in the future. This could take a toll on our mental and physical health.
Here are 5 ways the weather might affect your mood this winter
- Wintertime can bring you down. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real affliction – though many of us joke about having it during the winter months, it can make living in colder climates a challenge for many people. It is thought to be caused by a lack of light during winter months, but it is relatively uncommon. However, even those who don’t suffer from it may experience lower moods during winter months.
- Threat of extreme weather events cause anxiety and stress. People living in high-risk areas for extreme weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and tsunamis may also be at high risk for physical and mental stress, not only because of the events themselves, but because of the recovery after the event.
- We’re more empathetic in when extreme weather hits. From little things like leaving a bigger tip for your window cleaner (a-hem!) when the weather is nasty outside, to donating to a homeless charity. During the coldest days of winter the shared hardships draw out our empathy for others.
- Day-to-day weather does affect your mood (if it’s already a bad one). If you’re in a good mood, chances are, bad weather won’t bring you down too much. But if you’re feeling in a bit of a grump already, a cold, dreary day could easily make your mood go from bad to worse. (Source 2008 Study in journal Emotion)
- Violent crime goes down in bad weather. Police Constable Wind and Police Constable Rain are to thank for reduced crime during bad weather conditions. It appears that criminals don’t want to brave the horrible weather either.
Do you think the bad weather brings you down or do you love dancing in the rain? Whatever the weather give me a call and I’ll try to brighten your day with lovely sparkly clean windows.